In 2020 and 2021, businesses all over the world halted production, altered product solutions, and made adjustments to internal teams. During the course of the pandemic, we all discovered that life can be unpredictable at times. You never know how something big or small can impact your future. Stress management is more important than ever.
With that being said, it’s important to learn valuable stress management lessons from this time, especially as a business owner or leader. By taking appropriate action steps, you can reduce your risks. You’ll gain the ability to prepare for whatever might be thrown your way in the years to come.
Set Goals and Intentions for the Future
After many months of simply trying to remain operational, you may be regaining some control over your business’s future. You’re finding ways to adapt to meet standards set during the global pandemic. To wind down the year, it’s always a good idea to reflect on areas of growth and success as well as identify where you might have fell short.
It’s not going to be uncommon to have more than one area your business fell short within the last year due to the global pandemic and economic fluctuations. Therefore, you can utilize this time to create an improved business structure and realistic goals for the next year. Having a baseline to work towards can help you with stress management. It can keep you mentally engaged and help your bottom line on the other side of this global crisis.
Organize Your Finances to Help with Stress Management
One of the biggest stressors of running a business is ensuring that you prioritize your finances. If you have a lot of employees, this can be especially complex and require a lot of time revisiting your budget, payroll, bills, invoices, and more. One way to solidify your business amidst an economic downturn is securing your finances.
This means making sure you have the funds to pay your employees, guaranteeing your business finances are separate from your personal finances, and ensuring you are able to stay on top of your bills. From there, you can start to get a bit more granular when it comes to the daily organization habits that can help you reach your goals.
Streamline Tasks and Automate Processes
One of the best stress management techniques is to “outsource” the work to innovative technology and software. See where it fits, invest in it, and use it. If you run a small business and manage much of the financial allocation and tracking yourself, take out the guesswork and start to streamline and automate your accounting processes.
Not only will this help your efficiency, but also with accuracy. As your business grows, it’s even more important to know where each and every dollar is being spent. By removing time spent on monotonous tasks, you can put that towards other areas that need attention, and lower the related stress.
Prepare for Uncertainty
Although you can spend time organizing, planning, and executing your new plans, there is always a chance that you can be presented with an unexpected circumstance. This isn’t just the case for you as a business owner. Stress management is just part of life. While that might seem counterintuitive to your planning efforts, it’s just as important to learn how to adapt in real-time to real situations.
One valuable stress management tip for small business owners is to have a plan in place for an unanticipated circumstance. Entrepreneurs should have safeguards in place should they not be able to operate their business for any reason.
Consider reviewing life insurance policies that can protect those who would be responsible for taking on financial responsibility in the case of your unexpected passing. Take some time to look over the best life insurance providers on the market and see which offerings cover yourself, your family, and your business legacy in the way you’d want. This is a big step you can take to provide yourself with peace of mind in this unpredictable world and create a plan to help those most important to you in your personal and professional life.
Improve Communication Internally and Externally to Boost Stress Management
Maybe you’re in a fully remote office, a hybrid set up, or a new spaced-out environment in order to meet safety standards during the pandemic. Regardless, it’s likely that communication has changed. In this case, it’s important to know how your employees typically communicate in order to be most productive and try to mimic this as closely as possible. By implementing new software and technology to let your employees communicate via video or chat system, your office can continue to operate as close to normal as possible.
You can take some time to review tools that might assist your employees as they learn to operate their virtual meetings. You might want to consider setting up a company training to help managers learn about virtual meeting technology that can help them feel confident in their ability to run this type of remote meeting.
Additionally, creating clear expectations and communication lines externally is also necessary. Especially if your business services clients or outside vendors, you want to make sure that you are easy to get in touch with and your communication methods are convenient for customers that rely on you. Set expectations, clear deadlines, and delivery dates so that external clients or vendors know when they should be expecting something from you. By sticking to your deadlines and schedule, you are more likely to receive this same quality of service back from your clients, vendors, or customers.
Develop Training and Mentorship Programs
Another great way to improve internal communication is to establish a mentorship program. This will let more senior employees assist newer team members. This can be done virtually as well so there’s no need to risk health or safety. But, you can still encourage one-on-one time for your employees.
This can be more professional learning and development based. Or, it can focus on a more personal level with career discussions. Either way, it can be helpful for employee morale and team building to have room for conversation outside the day-to-day job responsibilities which might help motivate your employees in the process.
Place Focus on Your Employees
When times feel difficult and confusing, it’s helpful to think about what truly matters most. If you’re feeling like you’re pulled between doing what’s right and what’s most profitable, you aren’t alone. Place your focus and attention on supporting the great individuals who make up your company. They are the ones doing the work daily and representing your business.
How is their mental health? If they are happy, you will likely be able to offer better results due to their high performance. Lead by example and make decisions that can help your business’ future as well as team members’ well-being. Keep employees engaged and productive by learning more about what they want out of a career and their employer. See your business from their perspective. Help them avoid burnout. Help them make decisions that will support their futures both in the short and long term.
Learning from Business Stress
There’s no doubt that this year has been challenging, enlightening, and a huge learning experience for business owners everywhere. From periods of adversity and stressful situations come exceptional growth, which is encouraging to remember during moments of uncertainty. Take time to reflect, adapt, and set new goals for yourself and your own business. You’ll already be many steps ahead of people who aren’t willing to go the extra mile. Keep confidence in your ability to work through challenges and build a successful business and future you’ve always imagined.
Thanks for reading! Do you want to create thought leadership articles like the one above? If you struggle to translate your ideas into content that will help build credibility and influence others, sign up to get John’s latest online course “Writing From Your Voice” here.